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Monday, January 26th, 1857. 

in the Chair. 

In the absence of the author, the President read a paper, by 
the Rev. Dr. Reeves, " on the Irish Abbey of Honau on the 

" It is very well known that numerous xenodochia, or 
hospitals, were founded, in the seventh and following centu- 
ries, by the Scots, in various parts of Europe for the benefit 
of their countrymen ; and, although, an adverse claim was 
put in by the Scotch, about 250 years ago, it is now almost 
universally acknowledged that Ireland was the fatherland of 
the Scots. 

" In the year 845, the Council of Meaux* passed a decree 
concerning the restitution of the hospitals of the Scots, which 
holy men of that race had built in the same kingdom for the 
reception of pilgrims belonging to their nation. 

" Such an hospital was the monastery of Honau in Lower 
Alsace, a short way north-east of Strasbourg, situate on a 
level tract at the east side of the Rhine, in a bend of that 
river, and insulated by a minor channel, which leaves and re- 
enters the main river on the south and north. The history of 
this institution is gathered from a collection of fourteen char- 
ters, which were communicated to MabiUont by John le La- 
boureur, a canon of St. Peter's, the old, of Strasbourg^ who 
had transcribed them diligently from a vellum MS. of the 
year 1079, into which they had been carefully copied by Leo, 
a canon of Honau.§ 

* Concil. Meldens., Can. 40. (Hardouin, Concilia, torn. iv. col. 1490.) 
f Printed in his Annates Ord. S. Benedicti, torn. ii. Append, pp. 695 b- 
700 a. 

X The college of Honau had been transferred to this church. 
§ Annal. Ord. S. Bencd., torn. ii. p. 59. 


"The monastery of Honau, called in Latin records Ho- 
nauffia and Hohenaugia* was founded, a little before the year 
720, in honour of St. Michael the Archangel, by an Irish 
Bishop called Tubanus, who was also known by the title of Ab- 
bot Benedict. Thirty years later, a Bishop Dubanus is spoken 
of in some of the charters as the then abbot, and although Ma- 
billon regards him as a successor,! he may possibly have been 
the same individual. The commutability of T and D among 
the Irish plainly refers Tuban and Duban to the same source. 
The Irish Calendars have two commemorations of presbyters 
of the name, one at Februrry 11, and the other at Novem- 
ber 11. The former was of British extraction, and flourished 
in the early part of the sixth century. He was patron saint 
of the church of Rinn-Dubh.ain,% or ' Dubhan' s promontory,' 
known now as the Point of Hook, at the extreme south of the 
county of Wexford, on the east side of Waterford Harbour. 
The word Hook is the supposed translation of Duban, which 
commonly signifies a ' fishing-hook.' The original name, 
however, is locally preserved in ' St. DufEn's Well,' which the 
Ordnance Survey marks at this place. § Dr. 0'Donovan|| in- 
terprets Dubhan by Nigellus,\ as if a diminution oiDubh, but 
to this is opposed the entry in the Tripartite Life of St. Pa- 
trick,** which mentions Dubdubanwf\ as the first minister of 

* That is, Hohenau, " High-meadow." 

t So Jodoc Coccius, Dagobert, 133; Zeuss, Gram. Celt., i., Prsef. p. xviii. 

J See Colgan, Acta Sanctorum, p. 314; and Calendar of Donegal, 
Nov. 11. 

§ Haps of the County of Wexford, Sheet 54. 

|| Proceedings, &c, of the Kilkenny Archaeol. Soc, vol. iii. p. 198. 

II So also Zeuss, Gram. Celt., Prsef. p. xviii., who takes Tubanus to be 
different from Dubanus. 

** Lib. ii. c. 114, Trias. Thaum., p. 1446. "Cuiunum e discipulis Dub- 
dubanum, Corcani filium, prsefecit." 

ft We And a Donndubhan, son of Imhar of Waterford, in the Four Mas- 
ters, A.D. 995. Ua Dubhain, ib. 952. Dubhan appears in the pedigrees of 
the house of Cormac Gulban, as father of St. Dubthach, Feb. 5. 


the church of Domhnach-mor of Mogh-Itha, now Donaghmore 
in the barony of Kaphoe. The word « Dubh' would hardly be 
prefixed to its own diminutive. 

"Of the other Dubhan the priest, the Calendar gives no 
further information than his day. He may be the Cpuimcep 
thibam, of the Naemhsenchas in the Book of Lecan. 

"The Dubhan ofHonau, however, was of a totally differ- 
ent age and order ; and these instances are merely adduced to 
prove the Irish character of the Latinized name Tubanus or 

" The site and endowment of the monastery ofHonau were 
granted to Benedict, otherwise Tuban, by Adalbert, Duke of 
Alsace, and they were subsequently augmented by successive 
members of his family, as appears from the following abstract 
of the charters printed by Mabillon : — 

" I. In June, 724, Boronus, son of Bothelo, Adalbert's 
brother, assigns to the monastery of Honaugia on the Rhine 
that portion of the island which he had inherited from his fa- 
ther. Also a holding in Gwllistet occupied by Bobo.* 

" II. September, same year, Haicho, brother of Duke 
Adalbert, made an additional grant of his portion of the 
lands in the island of Hohenaugia.f 

" III. December, same year, Liutfrid and Eberhard, sons 
of the Duke Adalbert, made a similar grant of the lands in 
the island of Hohenaug, which their father had left to them. 
Hence it appears that the founder was dead in 7244 

"IV. April, 749,§ Boronus (the Boronus of Charter I.) 

* Mabillon, Annal., torn. ii. Append, p. 695 a. 

t Ibid., p. 696 a. J Ibid., p. 696 a. 

§ The date is, An. vi. Hilderici regis. This was Childeric, the last of the 
Merovingian Kings. He was saluted King by Carloman and Pippin in 743. 
With respect to his paternity, Mabillon contradicts himself, for here he calls 
him ' ' son and successor of Theoderic" Calensis, namely IV. (p. 59), but at 
p. 103 he says : — " This king left no children ;" and at p. 121 makes Childeric 
son of Chilperic. 


granted to the monastery of St. Michael the Archangel, on the 
island of Hohenang, — ' ubi in Dei nomine Dubanus episcopus 
praeesse videtur,' certain lands in Joabbagine And Nuziviert, 
together with their appurtenances.* 

"V. May, same year, Hugo, son of Bleon, nephew of 
Duke Adalbert, granted to the monastery in the island called 
Hohenaugia, — « ubi Dubanus episcopus nunc temporis praeesse 
videtur,' all that portion of the island which he had inherited 
from his father.f 

" VI. October, 750, Bodalus, son of the preceding, granted 
to the monastery on the island called Hohenaugia, — « ubi in 
Dei nomine Dubanus abbas praeesse videtur,' all his posses- 
sions in the said island. This is the last grant made by the 
family of Duke Adalbert.? 

" VII. In an undated charter, but circ. 755, Pippin, King 
of the Franks, at the prayer of Dubanus, — ' episcopus vel 
abbas de monasterio Hohenaugia in pago Alsacense,' con- 
firmed to him all and sundry his possessions, whether royal 
grants, donations of subjects, acquisitions of antecedent ab- 
bots, or the augmentations which had been made by the same 
Dubanus, bishop or abbot, and were now enjoyed by him.§ 

"VIII. March, 770, Carloman, son of Pippin, at the 
prayer of the abbot Stephen, exempted the monastery on 
the island of Honaugia from all judicial intrusion or interfer- 
ence. || 

" IX. January, 783, Charlemagne, at the prayer of the 
Abbot Beatus, confirmed the preceding grant-T 

" X. June, 786, Charlemagne granted a confirmation of 
all the donations antecedently made to the monastery by 
kings, queens, or other servants of God, but of which, through 
neglect, the charters had some years before been lost. In it 

* Mabillon, Annal., torn. ii. Append, p. 696 b. 

t Ibid., pp. 696 6 ; 697 a. t Ibid., p. 697 a. $ Ibid., pp. 697 o ; 697 *. 

|| Ibid., p. 698 o. f Ibid., pp. 698 a ; 698 b. 


he makes mention of ' Beatus, abbas ex monasterio Scotorum, 
quod vocatur Honaugia, quod Benedictus episcopus in honore 
sancti Michaelis novo construxit opere, ubi ipse venerabilis pa- 
ter corpore requiescit.' In the course of the charter he styles 
the monastery ' casa Dei,' and * ecclesia sancti Loci.'* 

"XI. October, 787, Charlemagne, on the petition of 
' Beatus abbas, qui est rector monasterii HohenaugiaV granted 
a charter, exempting the monastery from tolls and other im- 

" XII. An undated charter of Charlemagne, ' commen- 
dat omnibus qui acceperunt aliquid de ecclesia Scotorum, 
quae est in insula Honaugia, ut iterum reddat omne quod 
accepit, vel quod rapuit sine licentia abbatis Beati: et si 
quis retentat parum, cbmmendat omnibus judicibus terrse il- 
lius, ut illi quaerant omnes res ecclesiae cum ratione secundum 
Legem Francorum, quia res peregrinorum proprise sunt Regis. 
Ideo restaurentur omnia ilia praedicta ad ecclesiam Scotorum 
sive ullo impedimento, sive terra, sive vinea, sive pecunia, 
sive homines, sive argentum, sive aurum. Si quis unum hoc 
non fecerit, recognoscat se regis praeceptum non obaudire: 
quia Reges Francorum libertatem dederunt omnibus peregrinis 
Scotorum, ut nullus rapiat aliquid de rebus eorum, nee ulla ge- 
neratio praeter eorum generationem possideat ecclesias eorum. 'J 
This is an exceedingly interesting record of the high esteem 
and favour in which the Irish of the Continent were held at 
that time by the greatest monarch of the west. 

" XIII. An undated instrument of Charlemagne, in which 
he formally adjudicates to Adalbert or Odbert, advocate of 
St. Michael's of Honaugia, or Beatus the Abbot, those lands 
in Vestiva and Gefida which had been occupied and now 
claimed by the monastery of Corbie in Picardy.§ 

" XIV. The closing charter contains the donation of the 

* Mabillon, Annal., torn. ii. Append, p. 698 b. 

tlbid., 699a. + Ibid , p. 699 a. $ Ibid., p. 699 b. 


abbot Beatus to his monastery, and, being much the most im- 
portant, in a literary point of view, it is given here in full : — 
* Sacrosanct® ecclesiae, quae est constructa in insula, quae 
publice ab omnibus Hohenaugia nominatur, super fluvium 
Rhenum in honore S. Michaelis archangeli, ceterorumque 
sanctorum.* Ego itaque Beatus, etsi indignus abbas, dono 
pro animse mese remedio totum et integrum, quantumcumque 
acquisivi aut collaboravi, aut etiam per manus bonorum homi- 
num et per chartas firmas inveni, et per chartam confirmatio- 
nis regis Caroli et imperatoris. Dono autem hoc totum et 
integrum, ad ilium locum praedictum et ad illos sanctos, in 
quorum honore constructus est, et ad pauperes et peregrinos 
gentis Scotorum. Dono autem hoc totum, ut ille abbas, quern 
ego elegero secundum regulam ecclesiasticam, post obitum meam 
habeat. Dono autem primum ecclesiam, quam ego construxi 
in Magontina civitate ; et alteram ecclesiam, quae est con- 
structa in Sylvia in Marchlichio ; et etiam ecclesiam Lognaw 
in curte nuncupata Wisicka ; et quartam, qua? est in Hawen- 
bach ; et quintam, quae est in Buneriheim ;f et sextam, quae 
est in Rhodaheim ;$ et septimam, quae est in Hurmusa ; et 
octavam, quae est in Buchonia ; cum omni adjacentia, trado 
atque transfundo, et in perpetuum ut permaneat volo tam 
terris, campis, pratis, silvis, vineis, domibus, aedificiis, peculiis 
utriusque sexus, mancipiis, aquis, aquarumve discursibus, 
mobilibus, et immobilibus ; in hac vero conditione, ut ab illo 
die transitus mei, ipse abbas loci illius, cui ego commenda- 
vero, habeat potestatem habendi, possidendi, commutandi, aut 
quicquid ex ilia re regulariter et ecclesiastice facere voluerit. 
Si quis vero, quod fieri non credo, contra hanc chartam con- 
firmationis et oblationis venire tentaverit, aut irrumpere vo- 
luerit ; primitus iram Dei incurrat, et de ilia ecclesia velut 

* Here another copy, cited by Mabillon at p. 392, adds, " numero centum 
quadraginta-octo," a form very like some of the commemorations in the Li- 
tany of JEngus the Culdee. 

t Bubenheim. J Rodesheim. 


extraneus abjiciatur, et insuper ista confirmatio firm perma- 
neat. Ego Wellimannus rogatus scrips! et notavi diem et 
tempus et locum. Hsec charta in Maguntia civitate scripta 
xi. Kal. Julias, anno x. regni domini nostri Caroli regis et 

" ' + Signum Beati abbatis, qui hanc chartam fieri rogavit. 
•{• Signum Comgani episcopi. 
•J* Signum Echoch episcopi. 
»J« Signum Suathar episcopi. 
•J* Signum Maucumgib episcopi. 
»i« Signum Caincomrihc episcopi. 
»r> Signum Doilgusso episcopi. 
•J* Signum Erdomnach episcopi. 
•J* Signum Hemeni presbyteri.'* 

" In the above charter we find the Abbot Beatus, whose 
influence was probably owing to the favour and patronage of 
Charlemagne, as expressed in the twelfth charter, granting all 
that he himself had acquired or laboriously put together ; also 
claiming the right of nominating his successor in the monas- 
tery, agreeably to ecclesiastical rule, a power which St. Co- 
lumba, and other founders, or restorers, exercised in Ireland. 

" The eight tributary churches, the first of which was 
founded by the Abbot Beatus himself, in Mentz, or Mayence, 
prove the extended jurisdiction of this monastery; and it is a 
curious fact, that there are just eight subscriptions to the char- 
ter, besides that of Beatus, each probably representing the 
minister of an affiliated church. Some of these eight churches, 
probably all, are situate in the Palatinate of the Rhine, and 
lay near Mentz, on the south side of the Rhine. Hawenbach 
is now Hauenbach ; Bunenheim is the modern Bubenheim ; 
Rhodaheim is now Rodesheim ; Buchonia is probably Bokenn 
or Boekeuheim. 

* Mabillon, Annal., Append, pp. 699 b ; 700 a. 


" Their ministers, as their names indicate, were all Irish- 
men. Mabillon observed this fact, and says : — * Ejus litteris 
subscribunt septem episcopi, quos omnes Scottos fuisse barbara 
eorum nomina satis arguunt.'* 

" They are truly Scots, but their names are not ' barbarous ;' 
at least we, who find most of them in our records, and know 
how to pronounce them, do not think so. We would call Mo- 
guntiacum a very barbarous name ; but when we see it in the 
German form of Mentz, or the French Mayence, we are more 
favourably disposed towards it. 

"I shall now examine these subscribing names seria- 

'•' 1. Beatus. — The abbot's name is manifestly an ecclesias- 
tical one, as that of the founder, Benedict for Dubhan ; and if it 
follows the rule of domestic exchange, it is a Latinized form of 
Beoaedh, or Beoan.f This custom of exchanging native for 
Latin or Germanized names has disguised many of the Irish 
missionaries on the Continent, and renders the Irish origin of 
some undoubted Scots, as, for instance, Disibod and Fridolin, 
so questionable to the minds of some. 

" 2. Comganus. — A name found in the Calendar of Done- 
gal, at Feb. 27, Aug. 2, Oct. 13 ; in the Annals of the Four 
Masters at the year 868. An abbot of this name, in the form 
Conganus, is mentioned by St« Bernard.^ Mabillon reads Co- 
nig ani, but the m is evidently dissected by him. 

"3. Echoch. — The old genitive ofEochaidh, here go- 
verned by signum. The common form of this genitive in our 
early pedigrees is Echach. 

" 4. Soathar. — A rare name, for which Suadhbhar of the 
Four Masters, A. D. 889, is probably a parallel. 

"5. Maucumgib — There is no parallel for this name in 

• Annales Ord. S. Bened.,.tom. ii. p. 59. 

f See Colgan, Trias Thaumaturga, p. 1816, n. 188; Acta Sanctor., 
p. 562. 

X Vita S. Malachise, Prtefat. (Messingham, Florilegium, p. 351). 


our domestic records, and it is, most probably, a misreading of 
the original. 

" Zeuss calls the present form, ' monstrum falsa lectione 
orfcum, nee hibernicum, nee germanicum nomen ;'* and pro- 
poses Mailbrigte ; but the remedy is worse than the disease. 

" 6. Caincomhkic — In the form Caencorivpac it is found 
in the Annals of the Four Masters, at 786, 834, 898, 927, 
936, 941, 945, 952, 961, 986, always borne by ecclesiastics. 
Mabillon incorrectly reads Canicomrihc. 

" 7. Doilgdsso. — The old genitive of Doilgus, which 
Zeuss takes to be an error for Dongus, a name found in the 
Irish Priscian at St. GalLf But such emendation is unne- 
cessary, as we find the name itself in our Annals. The Four 
Masters, at 750, record the obit of Daelgus, abbot of Cill- 
Scire ; which is copied from the Annals of Ulster, 754, where 
the name occurs in the older form Doelgus. 

"8. Erdomnach. — A phonetic form of penbothnach, a 
name very common among the Irish, and particularly notable 
in the case of the scribe who wrote the Book of Armagh, and of 
the Abbot of Clonmacnoise, who died in 870, and whosetomb- 
stone is drawn by Dr. Graves in the Proceedings of this Aca- 


" 9. Hemencs — An aspirated Latin form of eriun, of 
which instances occur in the Calendars at Jan. 7, Dec. 18, 
Dec. 22 ; in the last case, as Bishop of Ros-glas in Ui-Failghe, 
now called from him, Monaster-Eimhin, or Monasterevan, in 
the county of Kildare. 

" Another indication of the Irish connexion of these sub- 
scribing witnesses is the remarkable fact of all, except two, 
being bishops, and one of the exceptions being the superior of 
all, the Abbot Beatus, who signs first, and styles himself sim- 
ply abbas ; a state of ecclesiastical precedence so like that of 

* Gram. Celt., vol. i., Prsef. p. xviii. 

t Ibid., vol. i., Prsef. pp. xvi. xriii. t Vol. iii. p. 322. 


Hy and otter Irish monasteries,* where bishops were often 
subject to presbyters, and abbatial rank was the grand crite- 
rion of jurisdiction. In the present case, the existence of one 
or two bishops among the early abbots of Honau led some 
writers to suppose that this church was formerly diocesan ; 
but Mabillon, who instances the parallel case of Laubes, in the 
diocese of Cambray, justly observes : — ' Somniantur proinde 
qui episcopalem Honaugias sedem eo tempore-jnstitutam pu- 

" Jodoc Coccius enumerates the abbots of Honau in this 
order :% — 1. Benedict, or Tubanus ; 2. Dubanus ; 3. Thomas ; 
4. Stephanus ; 5. Beatus. In the ninth century the monas- 
tery adopted the order of Secular Canons, when Charles the 
Gross confirmed its possessions. In a subsequent age the 
College of Canons was transferred to Strasbourg, to the older 
Church of St. Peter."§ 

* See the case of Hy examined in detail in the Life of St. Columba, 
lately published by the Irish Archaeological and Celtic Society, p. 340. 
t Annales Ord. S. Bened., torn. ii. p. 59. 
J Dagobert, p. 133. § Mabillon, ibid., p. 60.